Surprising Dollar Store Tricks

saving at the dollar store

Suprising Dollar Store Tricks

Don’t Forget the App!

Family Dollar and Dollar General have mobile apps. I highly recommend getting both and checking them regularly. They often do a digital coupon for $5 off an order of $25-$30. That can really add up!

“I Love Clarence” – My Mom

My mom loved clearance sales and she called them Clarence “her other lover” which always made me giggle. Dollar General does regular clearance sales where things are normally 50% off. This is a great time to stock up on staples like hand soap, toilet bowl cleaner, and paper towels.

Read those Labels

Always check the expiration date. Most canned goods are still good for at least a year after the best buy date. Make sure the ingredients are what you expect and always look at the sizes. It might not be a deal if it is a lot less than you’d find elsewhere. Modtip: This is a BIG problem at drug store chains like CVS and Walgreens. The sizes are often much smaller than you’d get at a regular grocery store or a discount chain.

Don’t Make Assumptions

A lot of people assume that the brands you’ve never heard of at the dollar store are inherently worse. They often are not. They are often smaller brands that sell their overstock to the dollar store to clear out inventory. You may find a new favorite. I think of it like a treasure hunt. This is especially true at Big Lots.

Customer Appreciation = Savings

Dollar Tree Customer Appreciation and Friends and Family Events can help you save 10% on a purchase of $10 or more. They most often happen around holidays. Follow Dollar Tree on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to their email updates to get the 411.

Do You Even Stack?

One of the things my mom taught me early on is to stack savings on savings to really save. Coupons and In App Savings can be combined. You can even use multiple coupons at the same time at both stores.

Count on Dollar Tree for Household Supplies

Dollar Tree always has the most household supplies like cleaners and way more paper goods in regular sizes.

Groceries Should Normally be Purchased Somewhere Else

I often find interesting and fun finds or unique products at discount stores but I would not rely on them for my primary source of shopping unless I had no other choice. On the other hand, I often go to Big Lots to get specialty gluten free foods and alternative flours because they have them on deep discounts… when they have them. I try to cruise through a Big Lots anytime I’m close by and stock up because that Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour may not be there next week. For my regular grocery shopping I stack coupons and store deals at my regular grocery stores to maximize my savings.

The Days of $1 are Gone

Recently all the discount stores that used to be $1 per item have raised their prices slightly. This makes calculating if it is a deal a little harder but it is still worth it. Dollar General has never been $1. Dollar Tree has recently started raising prices but you can still find some great deals.

School Supplies for the Win

You’ll never find a cheaper place than a dollar store to get school supplies. This is also the best place to get things to donate to the clasroom. Posters, art supplies, notebooks, pens… all cheaper at the dollar stores.

Shop Online

Both Dollar General and Dollar Tree allow you to shop online. You often get additional savings by shopping on their website.

Let’s Party

Dollar stores are great places to throw together a quick kid’s or adult party because everything you need is right there at great prices. You can even find cheap items like bubbles and simple games for gift bags for children’s parties.

Chhh-chhh-changes! Constantly!

You’ll find that dollar stores change inventory almost daily. This is because they buy things from suppliers in bulk when they are available. There will always be a few things you can count on being there but for the most part you’re going to be in for some surprises and maybe a few delights.

Avoid Electronics and Batteries

I would never purchase electronics, cell phone chargers, cables, headphones, or batteries at a dollar store. They are often inferior products and could possibly damage you $1000 phone. The savings just aren’t worth it.

Coupon Lady

Dollar Tree accepts manufacture’s coupons. Make sure to check online sites and the manufacturer website before you head out to find any coupons. You can use an unlimited number of circular and newspaper coupons and two printable coupons per a day at Dollar Tree. ModTip: Remember the kids can use two more in a separate transaction!

Decor and Holiday Supplies Galore

Dollar stores often have a lot of decor items you’d pay a lot more for at bigger stores for cheap prices. The holidays always bring a host of new decorations for very cheap prices.

Avoid Medicine and Makeup

I would not recommend purchasing any medicines or any makeup at the dollar stores. Not only could you risk taking an unsafe product but they are usually not good quality or cost effective.

Kitchenware is a Crapshoot but Can be a Gold Mine

My sharpest paring knife came from a Dollar Tree. It has been going strong for a decade. Hard to believe! My go to “snack plates” are from the Dollar General and I’ve had them a decade. Not everything is great but sometimes you can find a real winner. The important part to think about is that the risk is low because it is only a dollar! My favorite bottle brush came from the Dollar Tree. My measuring cups came from the Dollar Tree. You get the idea.

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